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Bronze age boat replica

Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by robin wood, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. robin wood

    robin wood Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Last year I spent 3 months building a half scale replica of the bronze age Dover boat, the oldest seagoing vessel in the world. It went on tour as the centrepiece of a major exhibition on bronze age life to France and Belgium but now is back in Dover and we just spent three weeks turning it from museum exhibit into a floating boat. First test on the sea was last Saturday and she performed well. Pretty much like a huge canadian canoe to paddle.

    Some footage online from ITV here http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2013-09-09/bronze-age-replica-boat-floats/

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Albus Culter

    Albus Culter Maker

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    Thanks for sharing Robin. Just watched the news clip. Interesting looking craft. Is there a website on its design and build???
     
  3. Husky

    Husky Nomad

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    Interresting!
    And the icebergs in the background make a nice scenery...
     
  4. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    is this a different BA boat to the one that was being made down my way last year? It's a very cool bit of kit in anycase :)
     
  5. robin wood

    robin wood Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Albus the design was simply as accurate as possible a half scale copy of the original boat. The build was documented on my blog along with pics of the original boat here http://greenwood-carving.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/boat-1550bc-progress.html

    Dave this is a very different boat to the one built at Falmouth last year. That boat was loosely based on the Ferriby rather than an exact replica, the Dover boat is largely steam bent meaning it has rocker and would be a seagoing craft.
     
  6. realearner

    realearner Forager

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    Fantastic, love that bit of history coming back to life. Thanks for sharing :)
     
  7. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    ah thanks Robin. I thought it was a second boat, but since I hadn't heard anything about the building of this one I wasn't sure. The full sized version must've been quite an impressive vessel, though I'm not sure I would want to go on too many sea voyages!
     
  8. treadlightly

    treadlightly Full Member

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    Thanks for that Robin and well done, a real achievement. She looks beautiful. Why did you decide to make the replica half size?
     
  9. Dreadhead

    Dreadhead Bushcrafter through and through

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    very very cool indeed
     
  10. boatman

    boatman Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Yes the Ferriby reconstruction in Falmouth was carved from solid oak as in the original. It did take on water initially but I believe that within a week it was dry.

    Congratulations on getting the Dover half-size reconstruction seaworthy. I look forward to seeing it for real. So that this now three Bronze Age boats I have seen apart from logboats, Dover, Ferriby and our own skin boat reconstruction modelled on the remains in a grave, Dalgety, Fife, Scotland.

    The waterways are filling up! Which is as it should be because there is no doubt that many more craft were around in the Bronze Age than historians of the period used to reckon. These would have been boats of all types just as they were in North America when Europeans first arrived.

    I have wondered if the large sewn-plank boats weren't attempts to enlarge on more moderate sized sewn-plank canoes to create seagoing vessels. While the methods used would work well for, say, fifteen foot canoes they are straining the technique when the boat is fifty feet or more long.
     
  11. robin wood

    robin wood Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    There is an established methodology used in nautical replica building which starts with drawings, moves to 10th scale models then build a half scale by which time you have learned enough to build a meaningful full scale. If you jump straight to the full scale it's a huge investment and you miss out on a lot of the learning process.

    There is a lot of speculation as to where these large stitched plank boats fit in to the evolution of boatbuilding. Time team came with an agenda and would ask the same question again and again trying to get a given answer. Their theory is that the Dover boat is like a dug out split in half with a couple of extra central planks added and upper planks, part of an evolution. We all found it frustrating, everybody likes to have a theory, nobody likes to state the facts of what we know and be open about what what we don't know. The fact is that these boats exist in isolation. They are very very different from dug outs and very very different from the clinker boats that come 2000 years later. We simply do not have the missing links of what happened in the iron age to see if there was any transition or if these are an evolutionary dead end that was superseded by introductions of alternative methods from elsewhere. We do know that they are highly sophisticated vessels demanding vast timber resources and highly organised society to devote significant time to moving and hewing those vast timbers.
     
  12. treadlightly

    treadlightly Full Member

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    Ah, I see. Does that mean the next stage is a full size one?
     
  13. Dave

    Dave Hill Dweller

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    Mmmm, wonder if thats a good plan to follow for a log cabin?

    interesting article, thanks for posting.
     
  14. robin wood

    robin wood Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Yes but fundraising will take a long time.

    Depends what you are doing, this is experimental archaeology, trying to understand an original artefact, we have learned so much from building the half scale and there was much that we did that could not have been done without the 10th scale model or drawings. If you just want to build a boat or log cabin obviously it would be a daft way to go on.
     
  15. Albus Culter

    Albus Culter Maker

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    Just had a a read of the blog. Thanks Robin, very interesting. Will Time Team be showing it?
     
  16. robin wood

    robin wood Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Yes Time Team filmed it all and it will be going out as part of a time team special on bronze age boatbuilding which will also include the Must farm dug outs probably airing next year some time.
     

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